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Good Business Lab promotes soft skills among Indian workers
Mar '18
Two US-based academicians of Indian origin along with the CEO of an Indian garments firm started the Good Business Lab foundation last year to train workers in soft skills like time and stress management, problem solving, communication and teamwork. The goal was to study interventions that can positively affect worker welfare while promoting firms’ growth.

Achyuta Adhvaryu, assistant professor of business economics and public policy at Michigan’s Ross School of Business, has studied the impact of soft skills in the garment industry in India over the past five years. He along with Anant Nyshadham of Boston College and Anant Ahuja from Shahi Exports, started the foundation, according to a University of Michigan press release.

“We incubate new ideas and serve as a platform to disseminate findings from our research,” said Adhvaryu.

The textiles and apparel sector employs more than 119 million workers in India, with women comprising an estimated 35 per cent of the workforce. The sector is also the largest employer of low-skilled and semi-skilled female workers.

The foundation’s research is evaluating whether and how when women work, their lives and the lives of their families and communities improve.

The lab is planning to set up 10 garment-sector skill enhancement centres for women at rural locations, informing job creation policy at the national level. Adhvaryu has received funding from the UK Department for International Development for the evaluation, and Shahi Exports has received funding from the Indian Government for implementation of the project.

The women who complete the training will be offered a job at one of the Shahi’s garment factories and the lab will track the women to see its impact.

The migration of women from rural to urban areas is also a key focus of research for the foundation. A research survey is being rolled out to 20 taluks, or subdivisions of districts, in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. (DS)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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